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Tre e C are Ad v i s o r New s l e t t e r http://

Dave Hanson and Gary Johnson, Managing Editors

Inside This Issue: Trees and Wildlife… By: Dave Hanson Congratulations… By: Diane Crea Large Trees. By: Cliff Johnson Shade Tree Short Course Discounts... Shade Tree Short Course Information. TCA DirT... By: Lu Schmidtke Contacts and Story Terminator

Volume 15 Number 1 Winter 2008

It’s all up-hill from here, we have made it through what is traditionally the coldest 1

stretch of Minnesota’s winter. I suspect that even this owl resting in Rum River Regional Park is happy about the

2 prospect of warmer months to come. 3

This is a good time to double check the tree protections to make sure the

6 voles, rabbits and deer are not enjoy-

ing a bark buffet. Secondly, if there is 7 some pruning to be done - now is a

good time to schedule with an ISA Disturbing the gray owls afternoon nap…

11 certified arborist.


Photo: Dave Hanson 1-20-2008

Enjoy the rest of winter and remember, it only arrives but once a year!

Trees and Wildlife… Trees serve many purposes and provide many functions to us and to the natural world. From our standpoint, physical damage to a tree is a “destructive” event. Yet, just as boxelder should not be classed as invasive in Minnesota, the taking of a tree by a beaver should not result in a death sentence for the beaver. As stewards of the urban forest we are often reminded how trees fit into the natural world. While it is desirable to protect the significant trees in our yards and landscapes, it is also okay to allow wildlife to “use” a few of the wilder trees. Nesting cavity in a storm damaged tree likely created by a woodpecker . All photos in this article: Dave Hanson.

Continued on Page 8

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City of Oakdale announces Jane Klein is 2007 Volunteer of the Year At the City Council’s annual Volunteer Appreciation Dinner December 10, 2007 the honorable Mayor Carmen Sarrack announced Jane Klein is named Oakdale’s 2007 Volunteer of the Year. Please join me in congratulating Jane for this highly esteemed honor. Jane’s accomplishments include the following: • • • • •

Founding member of the Oakdale Tree Board Served on the city’s Economic Development Commission Volunteers as a Master Gardener and Tree Care Advisor Spearheads the city’s annual buckthorn removal event Promotes the importance of buckthorn removal in other communities • Actively participates in the city’s annual streetscape landscaping projects and Arbor Day tree giveaway • Served as President of the Washington County Horticultural Society • Serves on the board of the Community Action Partnership for Washington and Ramsey counties • Is a local business owner On a personal note, I met Jane in 2001 when I joined the Master Gardner program. Jane quickly “recruited” me in to tree activities with the city of Oakdale that have been a great experience. Those activities that help involve and educate hundreds of residents have also helped me realize my love of trees and need for stewardship where trees are concerned. It’s a great feeling to say “This is my community and I make a difference” especially when I drive down Oakdale’s tree lined Signature Street (Hadley Avenue) and the 694 corridor that runs through Oakdale. I believe my experience as a Master Gardener has been enriched because Jane has been a great mentor, inspiration, and friend to me and many others. Again, congratulations to Jane for this well deserved honor. Diane Crea — WCMG/TCA Fellow TCAs, We, your DirT (TCA Direction Team) committee are working to generate gritty TCA opportunities for you in your communities. We are beginning with the Shade Tree Short Course (STSC) using a display board bulleting the types of work we can do as volunteers. We would like to identify TCA contacts to be community coordinators between TCAs and the tree professionals in your community. Contact Rebecca if you could be that point person. Your name will be made available to STSC attendees who request TCA contacts. Your function would be to connect the professional with TCAs in your community or county who would undertake the project(s). Of course, thank you. Sally McNamara

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Putting Down Roots - A column in the Chaska Herald. Putting down roots By Cliff Johnson, Carver/Scott Master Gardener

Quercus macrocarpa—A tree that has the potential to survive for generations, with its raw beauty and strength never fails to capture imaginations.

Bur oak wins ‘favorite tree’ vote In the late 1940s, thousands of soldiers returned from WWII and immediately set about buying homes and producing children (i.e., the “baby boom”). The American dream became a home in the suburbs with a front and back lawn and trees. Many new homeowners, desiring “instant shade,” planted fastgrowing silver maples, poplars and cottonwoods. Shade they got...along with various undesirable traits such as brittle branches and above-ground roots. Silver maples “grow like a weed and become irresponsible teenagers going into adulthood,” notes Mike Zins, retired University of Minnesota horticulturist. Recently I asked some of my tree friends to answer this question:

“Assume you have moved

“Assume you have moved into a new home and yard with adequate space and

into a new home and yard

sunlight, good drainage and okay soil. What one large tree and one small tree

with adequate space and

would you plant in your new yard, and why?”

sunlight, good drainage and

The unanimous large-tree choice was bur oak (Quercus macrocarpa).

okay soil.”

“If I could have only one large tree and wanted to leave a lasting impression and a legacy worth remembering, I would pick bur oak,” said Mark Stennes of S&S Tree Service. “I think you could make a compelling case for the proposition that bur oak is perhaps the most valuable shade tree in Minnesota if only be-

Photos for this article: Dave Hanson

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Putting Down Roots - continued... cause of the number of dwellings and domiciles that it provides shade and shelter for by virtue its ability to beat up on everything else that may have also wanted to be there. For a tree with so much character that it is able to both prosper and shelter us, in spite of us, and not because of us, bur oak gets my endorsement.” “ I would pick bur oak,” said Deb Brown, retired UofM horticulturist. “This tree is rather slow-growing, and you can only buy small ones, as they have deep tap roots and are not easily transplanted. You can also start them from acorns. “I would plant it for the future, for people who would enjoy it years after I have left the house. I like the bur oak for its wonderful, irregular form. They're ma-

Quercus bicolor: bicolor or swamp white oak.

jestic in leaf, and very sculptural and muscular when the leaves have fallen.” Patrick Weicherding, UofM horticulturist, also voted for bur oak. “Living up here on the Anoka sand plain, I can appreciate how well it adapts to harsh environments. It's a survivor like me!” (Note: Patrick is battling pancreatic cancer.) Several other trees also got votes from my friends. “I'm having a hard time choosing between a bicolor oak (Quercus bicolor), honeylocust (Gleditsia triacanthos var. inermis) and ‘Autumn Purple’ white ash

Gleditsia triacanthos var. Inermis:

(Fraxinus americana), so let me go with all three,” said Mark Halla, owner of Mustard Seed garden center.


“Bicolor oak, formerly called swamp white oak, grows as fast as nearly any other tree, has stately branch structure with exfoliating bark, and lovely shaped glossy green leaves that turn chocolaty brown in fall and sometimes hold all winter. Winter interest on branches and leaves can't be beat and this tree will survive long Fraxinus americana: Autumn Purple –white ash

past our lifetime, giving our grandchildren something to remember us by. “‘Shademaster’ honeylocust is a large, stately tree that provides dappled shade, interesting branch structure and bright-yellow fall color. Leaves are small and don't need to be raked, seed pods are very prevalent every other year and make great burning in the fire pit, and rugged branching makes for interesting texture, especially in winter with snow. “‘Autumn Purple’ ash becomes a dense globular shade tree that grows very quickly in wet or dry soil. It has a fantastic purplish/maroon fall color that seems to last longer than other trees, stands up to the fiercest storms without a lot of dam-

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Putting Down Roots - continued... age, and always seems ‘happy.’” Mike Nygaard, a college friend and forestry graduate, also picked ‘Autumn Purple’ ash because “it has great fall color (lavender), well branched, good form, good shade and, all the leaves fall off on the same day, which makes for a one time rake up.” Since my question didn’t specify evergreen or deciduous, Gary Johnson, UofM professor of forestry, said he would plant a Norway spruce (Picea abies). “I would plant a Norway spruce for sentimental reasons and because I love the ‘enchanted forest’ character that it develops with age: pendulous, coarse branches. Plus, I love looking up the trunk and branches of a very old Norway spruce.”

Above: Drooping laterals of Norway spruce.

My last tree friend to respond named the tree I suspected might be on the list. “Hands down, it’s the Kentucky coffeetree (Gymnocladus dioicus),” said Lorrie Stromme, a UofM Tree Care Advisor. “I am crazy about this tree, which is native to southern Minnesota, because it is both unique and low maintenance. It has distinguishing features in both summer and winter. “The double-compound leaves are the largest among woodland trees and provide dappled shade. The petiole can be 2 to 3 ft. long, comprised of up to 100 leaflets. After the petioles fall, the tree’s winter silhouette is bold. The branches are stout without small twigs. The leathery seed pods persist on the female trees in winter, adding interest to the stark branching habit. “The bark has an attractive ‘cupped’ or sculptural appearance, particularly noticeable in winter. It is tolerant of drought, alkaline soils, deicing salt, and urban conditions. It is not subject to significant insect pests or diseases. The common name derives from early settlers allegedly using the roasted, ground, and brewed seeds as a coffee substitute. (The raw parts of the trees are considered poisonous, so trying to make coffee from the seeds is NOT recommended.)” Kentucky coffeetree—Seed, doubly compound leaf and form.

More than 200 previous Putting Down Roots columns can be viewed at Cliff Johnson’s website:

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Minnesota STSC Costs for TCAs at Discount Levels Bronze Club

Silver Club

Platinum Club

Cost to attend STSC $99

Cost to attend STSC $66

Cost to attend STSC $0

(100-199 Hours)

(200-299 Hours)

(500+ Hours)

Ballentine, Diane Bode, Marcella Brody, Stephanie Brummer, Marilyn Buehler, Addie Carroll, Doris Cordie, Linda Drolson, Laurie Hardy, Roxanne Hjellming, Jean Karsell, Kay M. Keleher, Lou Ann Klessig, Lynn A. Krueger, Charles Loyd, Shannon Oslund, Michael Pieper, Herbert A. Reeves, Ronald Schmidtke, Lu Spedalier, Elizabeth Stendahl, Barbara Sullivan, Kim Tilden, Jerry VonGoltz, Verna Whipple, Barbara Young, June

Davies, Kathleen Eberlein, Frances Goehring, Cindy Johnson, Holly Kuechle, Deb Ludwig, Heide Matiski, Cindy Nellis, Joyce O'Reilly, John Pedersen, Dorothy Peterson, Leah Urberg, Kathy

Akins, Sherry Augustson, Polly Banks, Warren Bjerke, Nancy Bonnet, Kathleen Condon, Robert Dingfelder, Carolyn Filson, Esther Gates, Patti Lee Granos, Bruce Hambleton, Glen Harlan, Barbara Herbst, Gordon H. Hottinger, Mimi Johnson, Cliff Kirchner, Ken Kirchner, Margaret Kirkpatrick, Barb Klein, Jane Lundgren, Maureen Nelson, Jim Nystrom, Rita Rither, Skip Stromme, Lorrie Vernon, Lynn

Listing is alphabetical In each category‌

Gold Club Cost to attend STSC $33 (300-499 Hours) Anderson, Grace Crea, Diane Denman, Paula Erdman, Janet Friederichs, Pat Hanson, Gordon Kari, Claire Keyport, Georgiann Koetter, Rebecca Leschisin, Barbara McDonough, Betsy Paulson, David Pollock, Kathy Porcaro, Mike Saltvold, Jane Wagner, Vera Wedekind, Tim Williams, Winnie Wright, Robert

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A two-day short course for everyone involved in urban forestry and arboriculture. March 25-26, 2008 Bethel University, Arden Hills TCAs should register just like everyone else by using the form you received in the mail or visit the STSC website at:

Cost for full registration is $165. This is a great deal for a two-day conference!

Those TCAs listed on page 6 of this newsletter pay the amounts shown below:

STSC Reduced Registration Rates for Active Members Platinum Level : $0 - Free! Silver Level: $66.00.

Gold Level: $33.00.

Bronze Level: $99.00.

For those wishing to volunteer: The contact is once again Barb Harlan, Anoka County TCA. E-mail:

Phone: 763-784-0251

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Wildlife …

continued from page 1

Above: Young white pine destroyed during a January cold snap... At right—the likely culprits in December. Below: An antler rub.

Deer: Deer have become all too common in our urban areas. Deer utilize trees and shrubs in several ways; twig browse especially in the winter, autumn antler rubs or buck rubs, and occasionally - destruction. Twig browse typically takes place during the winter months as herbaceous materials are buried under snow. Most often deer browsing of twigs is not a detriment to the tree in question. However, having said that, twig browsing can be quite harmful if the terminal leader of a tree is impacted as can be the case with young white pine. For more information:

Below: A medium sized cottonwood taken by a beaver. Unfortunately—for the beaver— this tree did not make it to the ground

Beaver: One source indicated that beaver typically take trees in the 5 inch diameter class, but that isn’t always the case. Large trees will be taken where smaller trees are not readily available . The trees are utilized as a food source and of course as building material. The best way to protect valuable trees from an ambitious beaver is a physical barrier such as chain link fencing. For more information on beavers…

Wildlife …

continued from page 8

Rabbits, Voles: Both of these animals typically cause problems for landscape plants by clipping or girdling stems or branches. Similar to the protection suggested for beavers, physical barriers are the best approach. Typically, 1/4 inch hardware cloth will do the trick. For more information SeasonalCare/WickedWinters.pdf Left: Raspberry cane girdled by field mouse or meadow vole. Right: Shrub stems pruned by rabbit. And, a tree stem de-barked (girdled) by rabbits.


Quite often we choose non-thorny trees and shrubs for our landscapes. However, when the landscape position allows, keep in mind that there is at least one avian friend in Minnesota that utilizes thorns. The loggerhead shrike may find a use for those thorny plums, hawthorns or honeylocust. It is reported that the loggerhead shrike impales prey on thorns as both temporary storage and/or as a ritual mating display . Alternatively, this bird utilizes branch crotches to secure food while eating. Left: A mouse has been “stored.” Right: Thorny spur shoot was utilized to store a small shrew.

For information on loggerhead shrike: There are many, many birds in urban settings that utilize trees and shrubs for nesting purposes. The picture at the right shows a small nest secured to prickly ash. Each species of bird has their preference of location; nesting selection criteria includes items such as openness, height from the ground and proximity to food sources. So, a yard’s attractiveness to birds often depends on diversity not only of fruit production but density of foliage, size and form of trees and shrubs. For more information on attracting wildlife:

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Wildlife …

continued from page 9

Birds … continued.

Woodpeckers often appear to be causing significant damage to trees, but typically these birds are working dead, or dieing, decayed branches with insect activity inside. However, one member of this family that “works” trees is the yellow-bellied sapsucker. The feeding activity of the sapsucker can cause significant injury and the feeding sites are easy to identify. Look for regular, almost grid-like patterns of 1/4 inch holes on branches or trunks of trees (picture at left). For more information:

Insect visitors: Besides the myriad of insects that prey (are harmful to) upon trees and shrubs – there are those that may just be visiting. And again, landscape location – proximity to human activity – should be used to determine the need to eradicate the population. Take bald-faced hornets for example (photo at right) or other members of the stinging insect families. Quite often nests will be built in cavities or amongst the branches of the tree and if we can keep our distance there is no reason to destroy the nest… The nests are quite beautiful, and the onset of winter solves the perceived problem. For more information:

Above: Bald-faced hornet nest suspended from a white oak branch. This beautiful nest hanging in a Theodore Wirth Park prairie was quite an attraction. Right: Another wasp-like (?) species created this small nest attached to a small shrub..

There are many critters that have been left out of this discussion—squirrels, porcupines… Moose! So, in the future I’ll try to find room to provide more links and reminders of critter activity to be on the lookout for.


Submitted by Lu Schmidtke

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New Name. As you may know, a group of TCAs has been meeting to discuss the formation of a State TCA advisory committee to advise TCA leadership and elevate the program’s visibility. The group unanimously chose the name Tree Care Advisor Direction Team (TCA DirT), replacing the previous name of Tree Care Advisor Advisory Group (TCAAG). Structure. The structure will evolve as we go. Members currently rotate chairing the meeting and taking meeting minutes. Commitment lengths are yet to be determined, but possibilities are 1-year or longer, overlapping, and/or only for the length of a project. Currently the group is meeting monthly to organize and focus. Mission Statement. The TCA DirT mission statement was written at the first meeting in November: The mission of Tree Care Advisors Direction Team (TCA DirT) is to advise the TCA leadership on TCA programming, volunteer opportunities and continuing education; to develop tools and materials needed for TCA teaching; and to assist TCA leadership with program marketing and promotion. Two immediate goals were identified that follow this mission statement: 1.

Shade Tree Short Course. Raise the awareness level of the TCA program at the Shade Tree Short Course (STSC) at Bethel University on March 25-26, 2008. This will include a TCA DirT information booth with a display board staffed by TCAs plus a TCA promo handout in all registration folders. The STSC provides the TCA program with two opportunities: 1) advertising the program to future TCAs and 2) providing information to groups such as city foresters, nurseries, and cities about how TCAs can assist their organizations. A committee was formed with Sally Mcnamara as chair. She and her committee are in the process of reorganizing and updating the already existing display board and will bring the new design to the next meeting.


50,000- Hour Party and Volunteer Recognition. Plan a commemorative 50,000-hour party to celebrate passing the 50,000 volunteer hours that TCAs have contributed since the program’s inception. This party is tentatively scheduled for June 2008 in the metro area. There are three places that we are looking into for the 50,000 hour party: Como Park, Lebanon Hills, and the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. Mimi Hottinger is looking into the three places for time availability in June and cost. This information will be shared at the next meeting. There was discussion, and it continues, about volunteer recognition and the consensus is that a plaque on a tree representing the TCA program is still the best idea. The State Fair grounds was suggested as an appropriate place due to its high visibility. Rebecca Koetter will check with State Fair grounds officials about the possibility of putting a tree with a plaque or at least a plaque on an already existing tree on the State Fair grounds.

Web Design. The new web design for the TCA program is underway. Robert Born is handling this project and is the individual that designed the Woodland Advisor web page TCAs may be contacted in order to create a visually pleasing and useful website. Newsletter. Suggested to and approved by Dave Hanson that DirT have a newsletter section to keep TCAs updated. The newsletter will also provide an area for volunteer tip ideas such as: 1) Take a Forester to Lunch, 2) Contact a local school or municipality and offer your services for Arbor Day Celebration, and write a small article for the local paper. Good advertising for next year. Kits. The idea of having educational and promotional materials available for TCAs was discussed. It would be good to identify what has already been done by other counties to see if it can be duplicated for use by other TCAs. Further discussion is planned. Get Involved. We are excited to be part of the DirT crew and invite you to share the excitement: get involved in helping make the Tree Care Advisor program bigger and better in the years ahead. If you have any interest in being a member of TCA DirT or in serving on a TCA DirT committee, or just want to see what it is all about, plan to attend a meeting. All TCAs are welcome to help develop this important program. Commitment is not required. Next Meeting. For information on the next DirT meeting – contact Rebecca. The meetings so far have been held in Green Hall on St. Paul Campus. If you cannot attend this meeting but have an interest in being involved in some way, please contact: Rebecca Koetter by phone at 612-624-4261 or by email @

TCA DirT Members:

Contact Phone Numbers Program Contacts: Gary Johnson – 612-625-3765 or Dave Hanson – 612-624-1226 or Rebecca Koetter - 612-624-4261 or Mailing Address: 115 Green Hall, 1530 Cleveland Ave. North, St. Paul, MN 55108


Polly Augustson

Chris Johnson

Nancy Bjerke

Rebecca Koetter

Barb Gasterland

Harriet Mason

Ada Hegion

Sally McNamara

Mimi Hottinger

Lu Schmidtke

Additional Reference Contacts:

Regional Extension Educators: Bob Mugaas— 651-480-7706 or Patrick Weicherding — 763-767-3836 or Gary Wyatt — 507-389-8325 or Larry Zilliox — 320-762-3890 or County Contacts: Carver County (Jackie Smith) - 952-466-5309 or Dakota County (Barb Stendahl) – 952-463-8002 or Olmstead County – 507-285-8250 Ramsey County – 651-777-8156 Scott County (Jackie Smith) - (952) 492-5410 or St. Louis County (Bob Olen) – 218-726-7512

Debby Newman (Info-U) – 612-624-3263 Don Mueller, DNR Forestry – 651-772-6148 Ken Holman, DNR Forestry – 651-296-9110 Paul Walvatne MNDOT – 651-284-3793 Great River Greening – 651-665-9500 Tree Trust – 651-644-5800

Story Terminator: Tree frogs sunning on leaves. Lower left sitting on aspen, lower right on dogwood. Photos: Dave Hanson, August and September 2006

Left: August 2007—tree frog on the move


As stewards of the urban forest we are often reminded how trees fit into the natural world. While it is desirable to protect the signifi- ca...


As stewards of the urban forest we are often reminded how trees fit into the natural world. While it is desirable to protect the signifi- ca...